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Franklin High School Mock Trial Team Competes in Elite 8 Trial

The 2023-2024 Franklin High School Mock Trial Team outside of the Third District Court of Southern Worcester in Milford. (Photo Courtesy Franklin Public Schools)

Franklin High School’s Mock Trial Team competed in the state’s Elite 8 trial at the Moakley Courthouse in Boston. The team of about 30 students is led by team captains Anton Sackley, Jacob Bowser, Carolina Rawan, Ahan Shetty and Liana Warnakulasooriya.
Street Law and AP Government teacher Johnna MacLean serves as the club’s faculty advisor with help from Franklin native Andrew Kepple, who is the Assistant Clerk Magistrate at the Southeast Housing Court.
The team secured a spot at the Regional Trials after winning three trials in a row. Then, the team advanced to the Fab14 and secured eighth place, advancing the team to the Elite 8 trial on Tuesday, March 12.
Franklin High School competed in this trial against Dover-Sherborn High School, Newton South High School, The Winsor School, Gann Academy, Malden Catholic High School, St. John’s Preparatory High School, and Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School. 
This year’s case is Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Maiyer Wahl, which is a criminal trial, and the team had to prepare both prosecution and defense roles. Their side of the case was only revealed on the day of the trial. The team performed outstandingly but lost by one point to Pioneer Valley, with a score of 101-100.
In addition to their successes this season, the Franklin Hill School Mock Trial team has had a history of impressive wins. Franklin High School has been to the Final Four round three times in the team’s history and to the State Finals in 2019. 
“The students have thoroughly prepared for their trials, and their hard work has paid off,” MacLean said. “We made it to the top eight out of 111 teams this season and I’m incredibly proud!”